During this course we will outline strategies, tactics and the mechanics for setting up an effective political campaign. This will include the nuts and bolts on how to organize a political campaign that includes:
Get Out the Vote.
Running For Office 101, Voter Registration, & Fundraising We will also expand on laws that governs the process by which officials are elected at the local, state, or national level. Most elections are regulated by state law. Relevant laws cover issues such as who can run for office, who can vote, who can donate to a campaign, how voters can register, and where voting can take place. They also determine what voter-registration and campaign-donation information is publicly available, and how campaigns for office are conducted and financed.
What Every Campaign Should Know Before the Entering the Race cont’d…
What tactical decisions related to state law affect the outcome of the campaign? Absentee voters?
And what are the personal characteristics of the candidate that affect how the campaign needs to be organized [i.e. family time, will/won’t make fundraising, calls, current job prevents full time campaigning, decision-making styles, etc.?
The Kitchen Cabinet Small group of close advisers who informally gather to help make decisions. The term was first used to describe the meetings in the White House kitchen between President Andrew Jackson and his friends to discuss government business.
A Campaign Manager
There’s No Campaign if You Don’t Have…
The Campaign Committee No Campaign Committee is complete without the following staff members…
The Campaign Committee The field manager is responsible for ensuring that the Campaign’s field meets deliverables around public education, earned media, grassroots lobbying and direct action. FIELD MANAGER
The Campaign Committee GOTV means G et O ut T he V ote . The GOTV Coordinator oversees mail ballots, precinct walking, phone banking, drivers, DRTs, data retrieval teams, voter protection, and the campaigns visibility, and often manages the campaign office. GOTV COORDINATOR
Fundraisers are typically professional consultants. Smaller campaigns will often contract with a consultant that's working on several local races. Larger campaigns will often have a full time staff member working on fundraising and the largest campaigns will have several staff members in addition to consultants. These fundraisers will employ a variety of methods to raise funds, including:
- Drafting and overseeing direct mail and email fundraising
Working with supporters to plan and host events
Preparing call lists and meetings for the candidate with potential donors
- Soliciting Political Action Committees (PACs)
Arranging for sitting elected officials and issue organizations to solicit
A good communications director can oversee all of a campaigns external communications including:
Assisting with messaging for mailers
Speech writing for the candidate or issue.
The Campaign Committee The volunteer coordinator, coordinates the volunteers including scheduling, outreach, and duties according to the campaign plan and with direction from the field manager and GOTV coordinator. VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
Knowing the number of people registered in targeted district.
What percentage of registered voters are expected to turn out.
What percentage of votes are needed to win the election?
Where will they come from?
How much money will it take to win?
What is the candidate’s message?
When does it all happen?
The Campaign Calendar Next to your campaign plan, your campaign timeline or calendar is the most important element of your campaign. Your campaign calendar lists the key tasks that must be accomplished and the dates they must be accomplished by. It also helps each member of your team so they can see where the tasks they are working on fit into the overall campaign plan.
The definition of a campaign budget is the campaign plan expressed in numbers.
What are the expenditures of the campaign?
When will the campaign spend money?
When will the money be raised?
The budget says what the campaign is going to do and what the campaign is not going to do.
The Campaign’s Message Are you aware of the issues that concern your neighbors and other members of your community? To find out what issues are important to your community, read the local section of the newspaper, listen to local talk shows, and talk to your colleagues. Do the issues about which you are concerned coincide with those of the community? You will only be successful if those issues are aligned.
The Campaign Poll Decide the issues upon which you will base your campaign. These should be decided based on your strengths and commitment. Can you afford to commission a public opinion poll? A professional political poll will cost you at lease $5,000. Most candidates for Congress spend between $10,000 and $20,000 for their polling. The purpose of the poll is to find out how many voters know and are willing to vote for you, and about which issues the voting public is most concerned. The results of the poll will help you plan your strategy for the campaign.
Campaign Finance in the United States is the financing of electoral campaigns at the federal, state and local levels. It refers to the fundraising and spending that political campaigns do in their election races.
Electoral College consists of the popularly elected representative [electors] who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States. Since 1964, there have been 538 electors in each presidential election.
Federal Election Campaign Act has the responsibility to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of U.S. presidential elections
Federal Election Commission [FEC] is an independent federal agency created in 1974 by amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act to enforce [FECA].
Federal Corrupt Practices Act [also know as the Publicity Act ] was a federal law of the United States enacted in 1910 and amended in 1911 and 1925. It remained the nation’s primary law regulating campaign finance in federal elections until the passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1971.
Hard Money is contributed directly to a candidate or to a political party. It is regulated by law in both source and amount, and monitored by the Federal Election Commission.
Hatch Act of 1939 is a United States federal law whose main provision is to prohibit federal employees [civil servants] from engaging in partisan political activity. Named after Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico, the law was officially known as the An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities.
Political Action Committee [PAC] is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates. Legally what constitutes a “PAC” for purposes of regulation is a matter of state and federal law.
Soft Money is contributions made to political parties for purposes of party building and other activities not directly related to the election of a specific candidate. Because these contributions were not used for specific candidate advocacy, they were not regulated.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 [known as the McCain-Feingold] prohibited unregulated contributions to national party committees. Organizations which receive “Soft Money” contributions are often called “527s”, for the section of the tax code under which they operate. Such organizations can legally engage in political activity, but funds from ‘soft money’ contributions may not be spent on ads promoting the election or defeat of a specific candidate.